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Washing your face is a fairly basic task, but it’s one that requires a bit of know-how to get the most out of the experience. According to Christina Huang, MD, chief resident of dermatology at the University of Toronto, if you don’t emulsify your cleanser before rubbing it into your face, you won’t get your face as clean as you think.
“Emulsification is the mixing of two different ingredients,” says Dr. Huang. “With face washes, you mix a gel or oil-based cleanser with water, which gives it that foamy texture. And, of course, this emulsification process improves the effectiveness of the cleanser and improves the distribution of active ingredients.
@drchristinahuang #duet with @Skincare Stan #SkinCare ARE YOU CLEANING YOUR FACE PROPERLY? Did you know there is a CORRECT way to cleanse your face using gel cleansers? If you don’t emulsify your cleansing gel before using it, you may not be getting the maximum benefit! #gelcleaner #facialcleanser #depologypartner #depology #skincare #cleanserforacneskin ♬ original sound – Skincare Stan
To properly emulsify, wet your hands and mix a drop of cleanser between your palms for a few seconds. “Do this until it becomes this kind of thick, creamy texture, for five to 10 seconds, maybe 20 seconds,” says Dr. Huang. This allows you to achieve a more thorough cleaning.
“When the cleanser is emulsified, this texture can penetrate deeper into the pores and provide a deeper cleansing experience,” says Dr. Huang. “Because it’s emulsified, it absorbs water better, so when you rinse it off, it can also be cleaned and rinsed off more easily so it doesn’t leave any debris from your cleansers or anything else you’re applying on it. your face which can further contribute to acne, breakouts and pimples.
While you get a deep clean, the emulsion in your cleanser also makes it gentler on your skin. “The emulsification process makes the product softer, therefore softer on the skin and easier to spread, allowing you to avoid severe irritation and tightness on the skin, which of course we want to avoid”, she says.
Once your cleanser is nice and foamy, rub it all over, to make sure you cover all your bases. “Make sure all areas are covered, including your forehead, T-zone and chin, and I also tell everyone to make sure you wash your neck as well,” she says. “It’s an often-overlooked area, but there’s a lot of makeup, perfume, or other debris on your neck as well.” She adds that you should wash your face twice a day.
Prime? “Because of the texture, the emulsion in your cleanser provides a more luxurious experience on the skin,” says Dr. Huang.
Emulsify a favorite gel or oil-based cleanser from your collection, or switch things up with one of Dr. Huang’s go-tos.
Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser — $10.00
She’s also a big fan of this cleanser from Cetaphil designed for normal to oily skin. “It’s at a great price and it’s good for sensitive skin,” she says.
Bioderma, Sensibio Foaming Gel — $10.00
Finally, Dr. Huang loves this cleanser which uses micelles and a surfactant derived from coconut oil to gently remove makeup and other debris and glyceryl oleate (a mixture of glycerin and oleic acid) to nourish and hydrate. “It’s also great for sensitive and reactive skin,” she says.
Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.
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